(MENAFN - Arab News) Minister of Culture and Information Abdulaziz Khoja said that the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will promote cultural interaction and mutual understanding among themselves, while building cultural bridges to reach people of different nations, faiths and ethnicities. "Cultural exchange plays a very important role and Gulf states are ready to enhance people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation with the outside world," said Khoja yesterday.
Khoja, who chaired the meeting of the GCC culture and information ministers at the Ritz Carlton Hotel yesterday, said "the culture in the GCC states had been deeply rooted in history and is based essentially on two great sources: Islam and Arab heritage." "These are the important components of our culture and heritage"that advocate tolerance and openness to others," said the minister.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the GCC ministers also honored 18 talented creative artists and popular cultural figures, who have contributed immensely to promoting culture and heritage in the Gulf states. The meeting of the GCC culture and information ministers was attended by a large number of senior GCC officials. The delegation of the Kingdom to the meeting was headed by Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Abdullah Al-Jasser.
According to an official source, the GCC ministers of information again denounced deliberate attempts to block signals of satellite channels from the Gulf countries. "They warned those responsible for this unethical act with legal and political consequences," said the official, in an apparent reference to Iran.
A statement released after the meeting urged the people of the Gulf states to preserve the glorious culture of the region. "Identities connected to the traditional ways of life of the Bedouin and of oasis-dwelling farmers, artisans and merchants remain in force even as economic changes have transformed or ended those ways of life," said the statement.